Thoughts on Wicked

Wicked was amazing.

I was on the Guardian web site today and by complete accident came across an old review of the show from 2007.  “One of the best – but not the best – shows in West End.”  The reviewer explained that “adolescent girls” will like the show for its portrayal of independent, rebellious femininity and that others will enjoy the slick production.

I thought: This must be one of the most inane opinions ever.

Anyone who thinks that viewers flock to shows like Wicked for the production completely misses the point.  It’s a story.  Like all good stories, its thematic elements strike a chord with the common human heart.  It is not a morally complex story – but that’s not what we go to West End for.  The reason it’s so easy to get emotional during Defying Gravity is the message, in context of the story.

I also loved the acting: the dynamic between Alexia Khadime as Elphaba and Dianne Pilkington as Glinda brought the show to life.  After seeing segments of some American versions on YouTube whose singular mantra seemed to be wipe out any hint of subtlety, I’m especially thankful for the showing I saw.  One of the great moments was when Elphaba told Glinda to “get on!” the broom, and they both froze – Elphaba gripping the broom and staring at Glinda; Glinda looking blankly at the cheap seats.  And less became more.


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